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Moshiach: An Introduction

Moshiach: An Introduction


Two of the most fundamental tenets of the Jewish faith – as listed by Maimonides among the Thirteen Principles of the Jewish Faith – are the belief in the ultimate redemption, an awaited era of world peace, prosperity and wisdom, and the belief that the dead will be resurrected at that time.

The Messianic Era will be ushered in by a Jewish leader generally referred to as the Moshiach (messiah: Hebrew for "the anointed one"), a righteous scion of King David. He will rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and gather the Jewish people from all corners of the earth and return them to the Promised Land.

So it's going to happen—that's what we believe. But why is this important today? Why is the coming of Moshiach so central to the Jewish belief system?At that time, "delicacies will be commonplace like dirt." All the nations will "beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (Micah 4:3). Humankind will be preoccupied with only one pursuit: the study of G‑dly wisdom. "The earth shall be filled with knowledge of G‑d as water covers the seabed" (Isaiah 11:9).

Okay, so it's going to happen—that's what we believe. But why is this important today? Why is the coming of Moshiach so central to the Jewish belief system?

Because the Torah teaches us that there is purpose to our world. And the Messianic Era is the actualization of that idea.

There are those who maintain that this crass physical world is merely a strategic challenge; one that the soul must battle and transcend en route to a heavenly paradise. According to this line of thinking, the physical and mundane has no intrinsic worth, it retains no value whatsoever once its function has been fully served—it is a means to a spiritual end.

While Jewish belief also speaks of the soul's reward in the hereafter, earned through its toil in the course of life's journey, it sees the refinement of the physical and the infusion of holiness and purpose into the mundane as the paramount objective. It is the sanctification of the human body and the world at large that constitutes the very purpose of its creation.

From the dawn of time, G‑d envisioned for Himself a "dwelling place" right here on Planet Earth. And He put us here to fashion this home. To transform darkness into light.

The curtain will be ripped aside, and all flesh will perceive G‑dAnd soon the day will come when G‑d's glory will be revealed in this nether-realm, and we will enjoy the fruits of our millennia-long work, the end-product of our labor of love.

The curtain will be ripped aside, and all flesh will perceive G‑d. It will be the culmination of the master plan.

The belief in Moshiach has sustained our nation throughout a 2,000 year exile fraught with pogroms, expulsions and persecution—our ancestors' firm belief in a better time to come, and their trust that they would be resurrected to witness that day. And today, finally, we stand at the threshold of redemption. One more good deed by one more person may be all that's needed to seal the deal.

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Rivka Vermont February 28, 2014

Ruth mentions Jung You may want to investigate the continuation of Jung's work. Marc Bregman has had the courage to follow him all the way down the rabbit hole and beyond, to wholeness. He has radically altered the meaning of Animus and Anima. He is radically honorable. He would make a hugely admirable Noachide, for example. Reply

Yechiel Shlipshon Nashville, Tenn December 9, 2013

Yehudah's comment Dear Rivkah; I felt his connection. Right now, that is what is important. Thank you, Yehudah.. Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills February 28, 2013

Lies My Father Taught Me: a play within, a play? God is laughing ( Ladinsky, poetry) It's interesting how articles keep coming back. And I to them, at X. A few years ago I went to Montreal to this play eager also to see legendary Theodore Bikel act as the Father. In this play, set in a Sholem Aleichem setting and time, Bikel's grandson asks about Moshiach. " Can anyone be the Moshiach?" Bikel as grandfather answers, Anyone. "Anyone?" asks the boy. "Even YOU", is the response. And I was thinking it could be a girl too, because despite what's written here and elsewhere, there is an alchemy to all this and I think G_d is laughing, because it could be a kind of White Lie, as in, the migrations of soul, many feel, brought us back, and so a girl could have been, a boy. I know in my life, G_d is laughing, because the evidence is everywhere, in the life I am leading, in following the River, in the astounding connectivity that says, yes, Ruth, there is such a thing as Divine Providence. So I keep a record, and that record is without doubt brilliant in terms of the connects. Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for February 26, 2013

Re: Excellent Comments While it isn't an exact quote, I believe it is a reference to Isaiah 40:5 " And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see that the mouth of the Lord spoke." Reply

Anonymous USA February 25, 2013

Excellent Comments Thank you for sharing your excellent commentary. I only have one question, as I have not been educated in the Jewish Scriptures. What is the scriptural reference for "The curtain will be ripped aside, and all flesh will perceive G‑d?

It is a true statement. I am not disagreeing, just looking for the reference to expand my readings.

Carl Jung experienced G-d when he was going through the depths of his soul after the breakdown resulting from his disagreement and rejection by Freud. However, he abandoned his "wholeness" required to experience G-d by denying his feminine aspect and relied on using Toni Wolfe, with who he had a fifteen year extra-marital affair as his crutch to feel whole and thus could not recreate the G-d perceiving experience. Although I still hold Jung in very high esteem, he never recreated the experience of self transcendence throughout his life, even during his near death experience. Reply

Anonymous Mandeville, LA July 21, 2011

Your Moshiach is Coming! We love the Jewish people and pray for your peace and security. Your nation has been a tremendous blessing to us, and for that we are eternally grateful. May G-d bless you. Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, ma April 14, 2010

the sand in the oyster shell Recently Carl Jung's Red Book was published. Jung was a man who didn't believe in the existence of God. He "knew". He wrote about the collective unconscious. He wrote in his own words, in psychoanalytic terms, about consciousness and the stream, that is the River, that is consciousness. What we are daily perceiving, is deeply metaphoric of another story, a journey of soul. I am saying, we're doing a cosmic dance together, and that dance, is deeply part of a story we didn't write, but it is about the rub, how we shine, in dialogue, in investing ourselves in issues of ethics, and how we deal with complex ethical issues. It's about the reach, and I am saying, God wrote us all into a profound story that is going someplace deep.

In synchronicity Jung saw something, namely a moving together through seemingly a causal connects, and he must have wondered, what's making this happen.

To grapple with this mystery, is a God driven story. We are sand in the oyster shell. Ah there's the rub! Reply

Rivkah North Myrtle Beach, U.S. April 5, 2010

Thank you I read this today after our evening prayers, and my little boy (Yehudah) and I felt a surge of Hope when we read the last paragraph. Thank you! It is amazing what children pick up; but what is more amazing is what they repeat back to you, and how timely it can be...he said - almost to himself..."I believe in the Coming of the Mashiach; and tho He is delayed, I still believe". I'm not sure he knows what "delay" or "tho" means. But he felt something in saying it....and so did I. Reply

wamuwi Mongu August 11, 2017
in response to Rivkah:

Absolutely fascinating Thank you. Reply